Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure
by Miguel Guhlin, 2008
This email floated in one day last week.
The answer is a definite YES that does not involve creating a single web page, wiki, blog or anything like that. You can use a no-cost social bookmarking tool known as Diigo to get the job done. This article shares how you can use the Diigo social bookmarking tool in education. This article is organized in 3 sections:
Let’s start diigo-ing!
With the advent of Web 2.0, hundreds of tools are available. But you only need one to get started annotating and sharing resources you find on the Web. As Dr. Judi Harris shared long ago (http://tinyurl.com/5j5jnh), gathering web-based resources is part of our “hunting and gathering” stage of development. New web tools allow you to do MORE than just gather great resources; they allow you to explain why they are great, put virtual post-its on them, and then share that care package of great resource links with your comments with your audience of choice. Judi writes:
Are you helping your students make the shift from surfing and searching as telegatherers to becoming teleplanters? Here’s one tool that can help you and your students make the jump without esoteric technical knowledge.
Diigo.com is a social bookmarking tool, similar to the popular Del.icio.us service, but Diigo also centralizes various learning possibilities. The social aspect of learning is important, especially with our increasing focus on conversations that add value to what we are learning. Diigo lets you bookmark Web sites and have online conversations about them.
Diigo boasts some powerful tools and features that are easy to implement for novice tele-gatherers eager to become teleplanters:
Some of the exciting ways educators are using Diigo are listed in the sidebar to this article. Centralize your learning through web sites and the conversations you have about that learning by using Diigo. Because Diigo is free, you can encourage your superintendent and other administrative staff to become part of the conversation. That kind of networking empowers everyone who participates in the conversation. Below are some suggestions for using Diigo:
Innovative teachers are finding MORE ways to use Diigo. If you are not sure you’re ready to start using Diigo, view Emily Barney’s video on Diigo - http://tinyurl.com/6ftlxp — to get a visual of what it is like. You can also view and listen to this long conversation (http://tinyurl.com/5db9xq) between educators regarding Diigo’s usage.
Some other helpful videos available via YouTube.com (watch them at home if YouTube is blocked at your school):
You can also learn about Diigo via this picture tour, available online at http://tinyurl.com/4gjdaq
Clif Mims, a colleague, started a conversation on Diigo—yes, you can start conversations with other learners on Diigo about what you are linking to and writing virtual post-its about—about educational applications of Diigo. Here is a snippet of the ideas being shared in online conversations by incredible educators that you may be missing out on:
I’m sure you can find other ways to use Diigo.com social bookmarking and annotation in your classroom. Join the conversation that has already begun online at http://tinyurl.com/56vjt6
“Dad,” asked my daughter, “what’s RSS? I see it everywhere.” What a great question from a fourteen year old. I explained that RSS means that people subscribe to web pages and that instead of going to a web site to see what’s changed, the web site sends you a list of changes via RSS. You just get a free account at Google Reader (http://reader.google.com) and then click on the ubiquitous orange RSS button that appears on web pages these days.
As I responded to my teenager’s question on the way to watch the new Indiana Jones movie, I remembered that with Diigo, you can subscribe to bookmarks people are making. One way to ask this question is, “Is there a way to pull an RSS feed of all the bookmarks that are tagged with these bookmarks from all Diigo users?” Another way is, “How can I get new resources other people add to their Diigo bookmarks sent to me via an RSS feed?”
You see, once you get an RSS feed, you can put that RSS feed on the front page of your web site, in your blog or wiki, or share the RSS feed with your students. That way, a whole class of student tele-gatherers can learn what everyone else is doing.
Here’s how to accomplish that:
If you want to find out about items tagged “edustreams”--educational broadcasts of videos for education using free services such as uStream.TV—just type in the following and subscribe using Google Reader to what comes up:
Note that you can replace the word “edustreams” with any word (a.k.a. tag) you want. For example, if I wanted to see bookmarks from other people tagged with the word “TCEA” I’d type in the following:
If typing in the “tab=153″ is too much of a pain, you can always just type in this address:
Just be sure to change the word or tag above—”edustreams” or “tcea”--to reflect your word choice.
Another way to share what you are doing—especially with like-minded educators—is to create a group. For example, wouldn’t it would be great to copy-n-paste some code then put that—also known as a “badge”--on a web page? Students, parents, teachers, and others interested in what I was doing for my classroom could join a group to receive updates (as opposed to subscribing to the RSS feed) and have conversations about that content within a group setting. This can be an exclusive group with only people I know joining.
For example, I want more people to sign up for the TexasEdTechNews group, but aside from putting a link up, I’d like to have something that enables other people to click and connect. To do this, you will have to have a Diigo account and created a group. Then, go to “edit my membership” on the group you manage, and click the group widget tab, copy the code, then paste it into your web page. You can see what this looks like online in a short tutorial I prepared at http://tinyurl.com/4y8zts
As Dr. Judi Harris pointed out so many years ago, it is important to help our students move beyond the “gathering and hunting” web sites stage of Internet use. A tool like Diigo.com—at no cost for educators, and which promises to develop an education-centric interface where teachers and students can use Diigo.com without having to appropriate an adult learner tool for children—can make the move possible.
Teach your students, your colleagues how to use Diigo, and you move them right up Bloom’s revised taxonomy.
Miguel Guhlin, Director for Instructional Technology Services for San Antonio ISD, dug Diigo out a few months ago, and has been sharing it ever since with other educators and learners via his Around the Corner blog at http://mguhlin.net. Drop by and share your ideas about Diigo-ing the Web for Education, or email him at “email@example.com”.
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